What happens during an SSDI benefits reconsideration

Jun 17, 2022 | Social Security Disability

There’s a reason that some people claim that no one gets approved for Social Security benefits when they first apply. A significant portion of the people who apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) do not get approved after submitting their claims.

Either because of paperwork mistakes or bias on the part of the employee reviewing your application, their claim gets rejected. These applicants will need to appeal or to reapply entirely if they hope to get benefits. Appealing is usually the better option, as people can get benefits going back to when they first applied or qualified if the appeal is successful.

There are multiple stages of appeal possible when initially denied SSDI benefits. The first stage of appeal is the reconsideration stage. What will that involve?

Reconsideration is an internal process

It isn’t easy to evaluate claims made by total strangers that they need financial support because they can not work. The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a combination of employee review and specialized software to process benefits applications. The software may too broadly apply rules, while individual human workers may have personal beliefs and experiences that influence their perception of different applicants. Appeals help those affected by either of these shortcomings in the system.

Reconsideration involves having a different worker review an application to determine if another worker made a mistake. Both the SSA and the applicant can provide more evidence for the employee performing the reconsideration. That worker will then review the application and any supplemental information to see if the applicant should actually get benefits.

In some cases, this second review will result in an applicant getting their benefits.

What if reconsideration isn’t successful?

For many applicants, reconsideration is a mere technicality, as it is not successful. However, applicants who do not get benefits after a reconsideration will then be able to request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. There are additional appeal options if that hearing is not successful.

It can be difficult to understand how best to prepare for the different stages of appeal possible when seeking SSDI benefits. Learning more about the SSDI benefits program and getting support can help you successfully appeal for the benefits that you need.